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India: look to the sky for a green comet tonight

For those who are interested in astronomical events, tonight will feature a very interesting event. Today, a green comet will be visible in the sky after 50 000 years. On the evening of February 1, Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will approach the Earth at its closest point. By the first week of January 2023, it will have completed its orbit around the Sun and will be visible in the sky above the Earth. The intriguing aspect is that it is visible from numerous locations around the globe, including numerous Indian states.

Even though the comet would be 42 million kilometres away from Earth, this distance is extremely close by cosmic standards. It has a 50 thousand year orbit around the sun, if we look at it that way. That indicates that 50,000 years ago was the last time it was this close to Earth. The Earth then was home to Neanderthals, and modern humans had not yet evolved.

This green comet should be visible tonight if the sky is clear. This comet is not as bright as anticipated, though. It is clear and unlikely to be seen with the naked eye, according to Birla Planetarium scientist Shilpi Gupta, who was quoted in an article by India Today. For that, a telescope will be necessary.

According to Shilpi Gupta, the green comet will be more visible if the night is completely dark, the sky is clear, and there is no pollution. For clear skies free from light pollution, it is preferable to avoid urban glare. This green comet reportedly appears on astronomy apps as well.

Many parts of India, including West Bengal, Odisha, Ladakh, and the northeastern states, will be able to see this comet. The comet should be visible outside after dark and under clear skies after 9.30 p.m., according to reports. It will move southward until it reaches the constellation Orion’s peak. It is visible in the sky just south of the Pole Star.

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